Sunday, May 10, 2015

That Is Truly Great News.

Police Dog Thames, missing in the Tararua ranges for a week has been located and reunited with his handler and extended family.

Separated  from his handler during a search and rescue exercise In very inhospitable terrain and enduring some rather challenging weather Thames luck was running out and it is suggested time could have been called on continuing search operations in the near future, however today saw the almost unbelievable come to pass. The young police dog was found little the worse for his week awol.

There are many remarkable dog survival stories in this country where working dogs are so integrated into everyday life as Guard dogs, guide dogs, stock handling, hunting and retrievers and just companions where after  many days apparently out of contact, dogs are found and reunited with those who love and care for them.

I can recount two tales that almost defy belief.
The first during gravedodger's time in Cheviot in the latter days of the 1960s.  A good mate and one so involved in animal welfare as to be envied, had a young Labrador bitch that was very well bred from retrieving bloodlines and an associate  offered to expose the dog to gunfire and game retrieving. One round of gunshot and the dog disappeared and as hope had all but evaporated she was found in a nest in the middle of a large field of crop stubble, a little dehydrated and ready for a meal but otherwise unharmed and that was 12 days after she took off in a seasonal time zone similar to Thames' ordeal.
The second involved a seriously long march from my then  property at Waipara where my brother had delivered a bitch in heat that was not wanted to breed and we had good secure kennelling facilities. The bitch had been based at McDonald Downs in the headwaters of The Waipara river and as the crow flies not a great distance away, a mere 40 Kms from where we farmed. Two days after arriving while being given some air and exercise she took off and arrived back at the station the next day.
That in itself was only a remarkable bit of returning home but what made it harder to believe was that by road in the boot of a car, the trip from station to farm was a serious detour via Pyramid Valley, Waikari and the Weka Pass a road trip of some sixty Kms.

My fears for Thames only involved serious injury and or being trapped and at seven days it was still highly likely the dog could be found and I am so pleased for all involved a successful ending has occurred. I note Thames is going on annual leave but I guess ability to keep in contact with the handler will be questioned. In the case of The Labrador her future never involved any hunting/ retrieving, she took early retirement.


Paulus said...

I came close to shedding tears when I heard that Thames had been found. As a dog lover and owner for well over 40 years I confess my frailty.
My dogs have all been a part of our family (and me in particular).
Called unconditional love.

Tinman said...

A Lab on a farm I worked many moons ago wouldn't go through a fence.

Used to follow me around the farm while it's mate (not a Lab) worked the stock (mainly sheep).

We thought we'd lost her one time when she didn't turn up at tucker time.

Found her three days later down the back of the farm waiting patiently for me to open the gate and let her through.

I'm pleased Thames has been found.